What is Hospice?

Hospice is not a place, it is a philosophy of care when curative cancer treatments are no longer beneficial. The emphasis is on providing comfort, not cancer treatment or cure; on family, not just the patient; on quality of life, not duration.

The goal is to assist patients and their families to prepare physically, spiritually and emotionally for the end of life.

Hospice strives to make dying a life experience. It allows patients to maintain control over their lives, prepare for death in their own way and live their final months in a familiar environment, fostering a sense of personal dignity.

When a Cure is No Longer Possible

Hospice care is valuable when:

  • A person is diagnosed with a terminal illness and has a life expectancy measured in months rather than years.
  • The goal of cancer treatment is comfort and symptom management.
  • Curative cancer treatments are no longer beneficial, and a focus on comfort is more viable than cancer treatment.

Your Support Team

Hospice care is provided to the patient and family by dedicated support professionals, utilizing a team approach. Each member of the team provides expertise in developing a plan of care to meet your specific needs. The team includes:

  • Personal Physician
  • Physicians with expertise in Palliative Medicine are available to consult with your personal physician and act as a resource for pain and symptom management
  • Registered Nurses collaborate with the hospice team to develop a plan of care that will meet the individual needs of each patient/family. Nurses provide expertise in the areas of assessment and pain and symptom management.
  • Home Health Aides provide bathing and personal care services, light house keeping and assistance with activities of daily living.
  • Medical Social Workers who are specially trained in end-of-life care provide emotional support and counseling. Social Workers also help with financial concerns and coordinate community resource needs.
  • Chaplains offer support and guidance in matters of spirituality
  • Volunteers are friends who offer helping hands with errands, and provide companionship and respite for the family and caregivers.
  • Music and Art Therapists

Additional Services Provided by Hospice Include:

  • 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week access to a hospice registered nurse for support and coordination of care
  • Medications for controlling symptoms
  • Medical supplies
  • Durable medical equipment


If acute medical care for symptom management is needed for those times when symptoms cannot be managed at home, Cleveland Clinic Hospice contracts with all the acute care hospitals within the Cleveland Clinic Health System.

Respite Care

In the event the primary caregiver needs a rest from caregiving responsibilities, hospice may provide short-term care in a nursing home.

Bereavement Services

A component of the philosophy of hospice is that we need not walk alone after the death of a loved one. As a part of the healing process, our bereavement support meetings offer emotional support in a caring environment with others who share a similar experience.

During the first year of bereavement, hospice support includes:

  • Bereavement support meetings for loved ones of patients who were in the hospice program
  • A six-week bereavement education support group
  • Bereavement volunteers who are in contact with families for encouragement and support for 13 months.
  • Annual memorial service for families and friends to celebrate and remember loved ones who died during the year.

Requesting Hospice Care

Hospice care can be requested by the patient, as well as by family members, physicians, friends or clergy on behalf of the patient, by calling 216.444.9819 or toll free at 800.263.0403, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

A hospice team member will discuss your needs, explain available services and review insurance coverage options. Services generally start within 24 hours from the initial call.

Paying for Care

Hospice care is a defined benefit under both the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Most major insurance plans provide for hospice care.

Charitable Donations

Cleveland Clinic Hospice accepts memorial donations to assist in providing care to individuals regardless of their ability to pay. For more information please call 216.444.7793.

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic?


Cleveland Clinic Hospice is backed by the resources of Cleveland Clinic, which is consistently recognized as one of the top hospitals in the United States.


  • JCAHO Accredited
  • Medicare/Medicaid certified and licensed
  • World Health Organization (WHO) Demonstration Project on Palliative Medicine


6801 Brecksville Road
Independence, Ohio 44131
Te: 216.444.9819
Fax: 216.520.1973